Should You Consider Outsourcing Your IT? Some Pros And Cons
If you’re looking to stay afloat as a business nowadays, IT is essential, even if it isn’t your industry. From sales teams needing to stay in contact to admin teams that are tied to computers on a daily basis, you need to make sure your IT needs are met - and only a solid IT team can achieve this.
To get one, you have two options at your disposal: employing your own in-house team from scratch, or reaching out to a Managed Service Provider who can equip you with a pre-established team of professionals.
Your immediate response might be to think that the in-house team is better in every way, especially as they’ll have more of a personal stake in making sure that your business flourishes; however, this isn’t guaranteed to be the case by any means.
That’s why we’re here to go through the benefits of each option with you, so you can decide what’s best for the future of your company.
The Benefits Of Staying In-House
For lots of businesses, keeping IT in-house is an easy choice. If you have a well-established working culture that you don’t want to have to integrate with another business, sorting out your own team might be the only option - this is frequently the case when you aren’t happy with the data protection or security level an external provider can give you. An in-house team may also have a better idea of your IT needs, as they have a more thorough knowledge of the products and/or services you provide, as well as the core ethos of your business.
Outsourcing To An MSP
So how can an MSP compete with this? Most people don’t even fully know what an MSP does, so let's start with the basics.
It can be helpful to visualise an MSP as just an IT team that happens to be based outside of the office. The majority of providers can offer helpdesk style support for your end-users, in addition to implementing and designing complex infrastructure changes. If you wanted to introduce MPLS to your business, for example, then an MSP could both advise you on the decision and help you to implement it into your network.
The Cost Of Working With An MSP
Beyond the obvious statement that it will cost you much, much less than a dedicated in-house team, it’s tough to make a rough estimate of the price of hiring an MSP without knowing a few specific details about your business. Many factors can affect the price of outsourcing IT help, including the users you have, the type of data you handle, the people who access your data, the size of your business, and more.
Therefore, you probably won’t be able to find a package deal that completely fulfills your IT requirements. To find a deal that works for you, you’ll need to have a talk with any potential MSP about what exactly they’ll provide for your business. This can then be written into a Service Level Agreement (or SLA), a legally binding document that explains all the details of what the MSP will do for you, and how much you’ll pay.
This agreement needs to be built on a thorough understanding of everything you’ll need from a provider. In addition to these services, you can expect them to provide a fresh and valuable perspective on any plans for future growth, especially if IT isn’t your industry - they’re the experts, and they can help guide you in unfamiliar territory.
The Benefits Of Hiring An MSP
Clearly, deciding on whether to start working with an MSP is a choice that you’ll need to spend some time on, not one you can make right after reading this article! It’s useful for your company to have a meeting about this so you can look at the pros and cons together and get some varied points of view.
But to get you started, here are just a few benefits of hiring an MSP that people tend to cite:
No Training Requirements
If your IT team is in-house, then you’ll have to consider the cost of training, and not just as a one off cost - while you’ll inevitably have some initial training to do, the price of accreditations and certifications can really pile up in the long run. If you don’t want to have to factor this in, then look to an MSP; they keep their team on the cutting edge for you, so you don’t need to think about it.
Predictable Monthly Payments
When you have a dedicated team, it can be hard to estimate how much they’ll cost you on a regular basis. Although you can anticipate the wage bill, you might need to pay sickness cover too, or get in a consultancy for a skill gap you have. If you don’t ask for anything beyond your SLA, then your costs are much more fixed with an MSP.
No Initial Recruitment Costs
It’s been stated that the average cost of hiring a new member of staff can be around £3,000 - and that number only gets higher when you start to factor in hidden costs like lost management time, interviewing, recruitment consultancy costs and more. Because you can start working with an MSP after a few quick phone calls and a meeting, this is definitely the more budget friendly option.
Access ToBest Practice
Because an MSP is working with a wide range of different clients simultaneously, all across different industries, then their staff are likely to be extremely up to date on the latest technological developments. This means that you’ll always have access to best practice approaches that have been established at other businesses first, and that you’ll have high-tech staff on your team to help your company grow.
It’s Your Call
Which of these options is the best for your business then - in-house or MSP? Ultimately, this is your decision to make, and you’ll need to do more research to make an informed choice. But whatever route you choose to go down, make sure that your IT support doesn’t have any gaps that could be exploited by hackers - downtime and data breaches can take down a business.
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